I’ve got a california common inspired steam beer fermenting at ambient temps in my basement. Its been a bit over one week and fermentation is winding down somewhat.
The basement is about 55 degrees but drops a degree or 2 during the night. fermentation had the brew at about 56-58 degrees during the first week and temp seems to be dropping. This am fermtemp showed 55 degrees.
My main question is should I just let this go at ambient temp or try to keep it in that 56-58 temp range?
My only option to raise temp is currently a droplight within an enclosed box so no real control.
Also, I was hoping to have this ready when my Dad got back from Florida but it appears he’s returning a few weeks earlier than usual. My “plan” was 2 or 3 weeks in primary, then bottle for a couple weeks.
Is that too early?
I’m not sure a minor temp swing like 2 degrees is going to do all that much. Idealy you want to be as even as possible, but I don’t think this is worth worrying about. If you think how gradually 5 gal of liquid is going to change temperature when there is such a small ambiant change, your fermentation temps might not even swing as much as the ambiant.
2-3 weeks in the primary is fine. If everything is fermented out you could shoot for the 2 week mark to give yourself an extra week for carbonnation. I find most ales yeasts carbonnate reasonably well in 2-3 weeks.
honestly at this point I would bring it upstairs and get the fermentation into the mid 60’s to help it fully attenuate.
The steam I make I start at 58 (beer temp, not ambient) for 5 days, then finish at 65-66 for 3-5 days. The majority of esters, phenols, fusels, other ferm by-products are formed within the first 48-72 hours of fermentation, so raising the temp after that period isn’t going to affect those compounds being produced that significantly (if at all), but WILL help the yeast clean up diacetyl, acetaldehyde, and other compounds produced during fermentation that you DON’T want in your beer.
Stick it in a closet in the middle of the house, give it another 5 days, and package, assuming you are at your FG and it tastes ok.
Thanks for the info! I’ve “turned on my light” this morning.
That should slowly bring the air temp in the “chamber” to about mid 60’s. I’ll check gravity sometime mid next week. My spreadsheet tells me my target fg is about 1.013, does that sound about right for those more experienced that me?
[quote=“Kgetch”]Thanks for the info! I’ve “turned on my light” this morning.
That should slowly bring the air temp in the “chamber” to about mid 60’s. I’ll check gravity sometime mid next week. My spreadsheet tells me my target fg is about 1.013, does that sound about right for those more experienced that me?[/quote]
1.013 sounds fine to me. I don’t have the style guidelines right in front of me, but I imagine that is about spot on.